One-in-four teens are bullied on internet. [ Irish Independent, by Katherine Donnelly, 24/9/2015 ].

This is higher than in other countries, where one in five 13-to 18-year-olds reported being the target of online harassment, on average.

Almost half of the Irish teens said they felt helpless when it happened to them, with three in 10 admitting to feeling completely alone.

As many as 25pc, one in four, of those who had been cyberbullied went so far as to experience suicidal thoughts as a result.

The figures have emerged in a global survey of almost 5,000 teenagers across 11 countries, including Ireland.

It was conducted by pollsters YouGov on behalf of telecoms company, Vodafone.

Nine in 10 Irish teens said they would find it easier to cope with cyberbullying if they received support from their friends on social media.

However, four in 10 admitted that they would find it hard to find the right words to support a friend who was being bullied online.

The findings were released at the launch of Vodafone’s #BeStrong anti-cyberbullying initiative, which aims to build emotional resilience amongst teens online, and includes the creation of ‘support emojis’.

These can be used to convey compassion, sympathy and support when friends are being bullied online.

The emojis were designed by a panel that included Berkeley University, California, Professor Dacher Keltner, the psychologist who advised on characters for Pixar film ‘Inside Out’.

Dad of tragic Ciara bullied online warns other parents [ Irish Independent, by Greg Harkin, 2/10/2012 ]

pugsley456

THE father of a beautiful teenage schoolgirl who took her own life after being bullied online today warns other parents of the dangers of social media.

 

Ciara Pugsley (15) who committed suicide 12 days ago. Her father Jonathan has spoken out about how she suffered online bullying and he wants to bring the dangers of social networking sites to light
Ciara Pugsley (15) who committed suicide 12 days ago. Her father Jonathan has spoken out about how she suffered online bullying and he wants to bring the dangers of social networking sites to light

Ciara Pugsley (15), who successfully represented her local GAA team, took her own life 12 days ago in a tragedy of appalling proportions.

Detectives are investigating claims she was bullied on the ask.fm website.

Her dad Jonathan spoke to this newspaper in order to alert other parents of the dangers to their children online.

“I’m reminded of Ciara every single minute of the day, I’m always doing something that reminds me of her,” said the 46-year-old engineer.

“Ciara was a special girl. She was outgoing and involved in so many clubs. She loved horse-riding, GAA and everything else that was going on.

“She wasn’t the girl who sat in the corner and was quiet. She was at the centre of everything and that’s why the local community in Leitrim is so upset because so many people knew her,” said Mr Pugsley.

Ciara Pugsley (15), who successfully represented her local GAA team, took her own life 12 days ago in a tragedy of appalling proportions.

Detectives are investigating claims she was bullied on the ask.fm website.

Her dad Jonathan spoke to this newspaper in order to alert other parents of the dangers to their children online.

“I’m reminded of Ciara every single minute of the day, I’m always doing something that reminds me of her,” said the 46-year-old engineer.

“Ciara was a special girl. She was outgoing and involved in so many clubs. She loved horse-riding, GAA and everything else that was going on.

“She wasn’t the girl who sat in the corner and was quiet. She was at the centre of everything and that’s why the local community in Leitrim is so upset because so many people knew her,” said Mr Pugsley.

Ciara's fatherJonathan Pugsleyat the HerbertPark hotel inBallsbridge,Dublin last night
Ciara’s father, Jonathan Pugsley, at the Herbert Park hotel in Ballsbridge,Dublin last night

 

Mr Pugsley, from Somerset, moved with his Irish-born wife Aggie and their three children to Dromahair, Co Leitrim, 12 years ago. “My wife is Irish and wanted to come home and Leitrim was perfect. The country living and the country schools and all the activities — you couldn’t have asked for a better place.

She was a popular student at St Clare’s Comprehensive and had represented Leitrim Ladies

Gaelic football team at under-14 level, reaching the junior all-Ireland final last year.

“I had no idea until 12 days ago that Ciara was being bullied. There were no signs of it,” said Mr Pugsley.

“Of course when I was at school we didn’t have the internet and any arguments there were settled there. But nowadays it continues online and on into the evening and right through until 2 o’clock at night.

“I have heard of Bebo and Facebook like every other parent but I had never heard of this site ask.fm, where bullies can be completely anonymous,” he said.

Mr Pugsley described the site — based in Latvia — as “extremely sinister”. He said he didn’t expect to be able to campaign for its closure because “another would just pop up anyway”.

 

Ciara Pugsley
Ciara Pugsley

“If I can, I want to help educate people about what these sites are and what they can do to young people.”

The grieving father said he had been taken aback by some of the comments he had read about his daughter online before and after her death.

“It is very scary,” he said, “and very sinister and you wonder about these people (making comments). But if I can help to educate people about being safe online then I will.”

Last night he appeared on RTE’s ‘Frontline’ TV programme to help that process.

He said his other daughter Abigail (20) and son Daniel (18) were “utterly devastated” by Ciara’s death.

“Daniel has taken it badly because he had just started to take Ciara out to underage discos and introduce her to his friends,” said Jonathan. “He was particularly close to her.”

Meanwhile, the rate of male suicide has dropped slightly but it remains relatively constant for women, a new report revealed yesterday.

Prevention

However, suicide is still significantly more likely among males than females, the report of the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention said.

Male suicide steadily increased from 8.4 per 100,000 in 1980, to 23.5 in 1998, falling to 20.0 in 2009.

The suicide rate is highest for young males aged between 20 and 24 and for females aged between 50 and 54.

There were 552 deaths by suicide in 2009, representing a rate of 12.4 deaths per 100,000 population.

Compared to other European standards, Ireland has the sixth lowest rate of death by suicide, with a reported rate of 10.3 per 100,000, compared with the lowest rate of 3.9 in Greece and the highest of 34 in Lithuania.